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ments; and will put our conftitution into a natural condition of working out her own cure,

SIR, upon the whole, I am of opinion, that I cannot express a greater zeal for his Majefty, for the liberties of the people, or for the honour and dignity of this house, than by feconding the motion, which the chonourable gentleman has made you.

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has been fo

Tfully oppofed, that there is no great occafion

to fay any thing farther against it, yet, I hope, the houfe will indulge me with the liberty, of giving fome of those reasons, which induce me to be against the motion.

In general, I muft obferve, that the nature of our conftitution feems to be very much mistaken by the gentlemen who have spoken in favour of this motion. It is certain, that ours is a mixt government: and the perfection of our conftitution confifts in this, That the monarchical, ariftocratical, and democratical, forms of government, are mixt and interwoven in ours, fo as to give us all the advantages of each, without fubjecting us to the dangers and inconveniences of either.


THE democratical form of government, which is the only one I have now occafion to take notice of, is liable to thefe inconveniences: That the people are,


generally, too tedious, in coming to any resolution; and feldom brisk and expeditious, enough, in carry. ing their refolutions into execution: that they are always wavering, in their refolutions; and never fteady, in any of the measures they refolve to pursue: and, that they are often involved in factions, feditions, and infurrections, which expofes them to be made the tools, if not the prey, of their neighbours. Therefore, in all the regulations we make, with refpect to our conftitution, we are to guard against running too much into that form of government, which is properly called democratical. This was, in my opinion, the effect of the triennial law; and will again be the effect, if ever it should be restored.

THAT triennial elections would make our government too tedious in all their refolves, is evident : because, in fuch cafe, no prudent administration would ever refolve upon any measure of confequence, till they had felt, not only the pulfe of the parliament, but the pulfe of the people: and the minifters of ftate would always labour under this difadvantage that, as fecrets of state must not be immediately divulged, their enemies (and enemies they will always have) would have a handle for expofing their measures, and rendering them difagreeable to the people; and, thereby, carrying, perhaps, a new election against them, before they could have an opportunity of justifying their measures, by divulging thofe facts and circumstances, from which the juftice and the wifdom of their measures would clearly appear.

THEN, Sir, it is, by experience, well known, that those who are called the populace in every country, are apt to be too much elated with fuccefs, and too much dejected with every misfortune. This makes


them wavering in their opinion about affairs of state, and never long of the fame mind. And, as this houfe is chofen by the free and unbiaffed voice of the people in general, if this choice were so often renewed, we might expect, that this houfe would be as wavering, and as unfteady, as the people ufually are: and, it being impoffible to carry on the public affairs of the nation, without the concurrence of this houfe, the minifters would always be obliged to comply; and, confequently, would be obliged to change their measures, as often as the people changed their minds.

WITH feptennial parliaments, Sir, we are not expofed to either of these misfortunes: because, if the minifters, after having felt the pulfe of the parliament, which they can always foon do, refolve upon any measures, they have generally time enough, before the new elections come on, to give the people proper information, in order to fhew them the juftice and the wifdom of the measures they have purfued; and, if the people fhould at any time be too much elated, or too much dejected, or fhould without a caufe, change their minds, those at the helm of affairs have time to fet them right, before a new election comes on.

As to faction and fedition, Sir, I will grant, that, in monarchical and ariftocratical governments, it generally arifes from violence and oppreffion; but, in democratical governments, it always arifes from the people's having too great a fhare in the government. For, in all countries, and in all governments, there always will be many factions and unquiet fpirits, who can never be at reft, either in power, or out of power: when in power, they are never eafy, unless every man fubmits entirely to

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their direction; and, when out of power, they are always working and intriguing against those that are in, without regard to juftice, or to the intereft of their country. In popular governments, fuch men have too much game; they have too many opportunities for working upon, and corrupting, the minds of the people, in order to give them a bad impreffion of, and to raife difcontents againft, thofe that have the management of the public affairs for the time; and these discontents often break out out into seditions and infurrections. This, Sir, would, in my opinion, be our misfortune, if our parliaments were either annual or triennial. By fuch frequent elections, there would be fo much power thrown into the hands of the people, as would destroy that equal mixture, which is the beauty of our conftitution. In fhort, our government would really become a democratical government; and might thence, very probably, diverge into a tyrannical. In order, therefore, to preferve our conftitution, in order to prevent our falling under tyranny and arbitrary power, we ought to preferve that law, which I really think has brought our form of government to a more equal mixture, and, confequently, to a greater perfection, than it was ever in, before that law took place.

WITH refpect to bribery and corruption, Sir; if it were poffible to influence, by fuch bafe means, the majority of the electors of Great Britain, to choofe fuch men as would probably give up their liberties; if it were poffible to influence, by fuch means, a majority of the members of this houfe, to confent to the establishment of arbitrary power, I would readily allow, that the calculations made by the gentlemen of the other fide were juft, and their inference true: but I am perfuaded that neither of


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thefe is poffible. As the members of this house are, and must always be, gentlemen of fortune and figure in their country, is it poffible to fuppofe, that any of them could, by a penfion or a poft, be influenced to content to the overthrow of our conftitution, by which the enjoyment, not only of what he got, but of what he before had, would be rendered altogether precarious? I will allow, Sir, that, with refpect to bribery, the price muft be higher or lower, generally in proportion to the virtue of the man who is to be bribed; but it muft, likewife, be granted, that the humour he happens to be in at the time, the fpirit he happens to be endowed with, adds a great deal to his virtue. When no encroachments are made upon the rights of the people; when the people do not think themselves in any danger; there may be many of the electors, who, by a bribe of ten guineas, might be induced to vote for one candidate, rather than another. But, if the court were making any encroachments upon the rights of the people, a proper fpirit would, without doubt, arife in the nation and, in fuch a cafe, I am perfuaded, that none, or very few, even of fuch electors, could be induced to vote for a court-candidate; no, not for ten times the fum.


THERE may, Sir, be fome bribery and corruption in the nation; I am afraid there will always be fome. But it is no proof of it, that strangers are fometimes chofen. For, a gentleman may have fo 'much natural influence over a borough in his neighbourhood, as to be able to prevail with them to choofe, any perfon he pleates to recommend: and if, upon fuch recommendation, they choose one or two of his friends, who are perhaps ttrangers to them, it is not from thence to be inferred, that the

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